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Monday, January 17, 2022

If the Blue Jays truly believe in the dynamic duo of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, now is the time to get the deals done

Guerrero is now four seasons away from free agency — just as Tatis was when he signed last spring — but because he qualified as a Super 2 player, he will go through arbitration four times, while the Padres shortstop would have only gone through three. As a result, Guerrero is positioned to out-earn Tatis through their third through sixth service-time seasons. With a projected salary of $8 million in 2022, he’d very conservatively platform to $12 million, $16 million and $20 million over the next three years for an estimated total of $56 million — roughly double the $27 million Tatis is slated to earn over the same span.

Given those numbers, the question then becomes how to value the free-agent years portion of an extension, which Tatis locked in at an average of $31.3 million over 10 years. The most recent relevant comparable is the $130-million, five-year extension Paul Goldschmidt signed with the St. Louis Cardinals in March 2019 covering his age 32 through 36 seasons. That’s an average of $26 million a season, less than the $31 million Miguel Cabrera is averaging on the $248 million, eight-year deal covering his ages 33-40, but more than Albert Pujols’ $24 million per covering ages 32-41 ($240-million, 10-year deal) or Joey Votto’s $22.5 million per covering ages 30-39 ($225-million, 10-year deal).

A key differentiation is that Guerrero will be offering his prime years, 27 to 31. Assuming his continued growth, they will be immensely valuable, which suggests he should be at the higher end of those averages, especially since some of those comps are now years old. The value in buying more peak than decline is why the Padres were willing to pay up for Tatis and Manny Machado, whom they landed for $300 million over 10 years as a free agent.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2022 at 03:15 PM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays, bo bichette, vladimir guerrero jr.

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: January 17, 2022 at 05:08 PM (#6061395)
What are 4 terrible comps for Vlad given where they are in their careers at time of signing? Votto is possibly relevant if the Jays wnt to make a 10+ year offer but that contract was signed a long time ago.

Has anybody done a study looking at the likelihood and cost differences for buyouts between super-2 and not? As the intro notes, Vlad is already looking at a virtually guaranteed $35-40 M and a good shot at $55-60 over his 4 arb years and will start getting paid this year. He doesn't have a lot of incentive to sell off his FA years cheap. I assume he'd consider giving them 2 FA years at a hefty price since that would still have him turning FA at age 29 but hard to see him going longer than that unless they're gonna Stanton/Tatis him.

So given where they are in their careers, Stanton seems the obvious comp, signed after his first arb year for 13/$325 through age 37. Vlad's two years younger which is attractive from the Jays' perspective if they can hold it to 12-13 years. But, to that point, Stanton had also been reasonably healthy, consistent and had a lot more defensive value than Vlad ... and that deal hasn't worked out so great.

So I'll guess we see one of three outcomes: a) no deal; b) 6/$110; c) 12/$300.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: January 17, 2022 at 05:28 PM (#6061400)
Bichette ... Corey Seager seems an obvious comp. He got about $25 M for his 3 arb years and signed for 10/$325. Thirteen years for Bichette would take him though age 36. He's not super-2 so the first 4 years could come very cheap but teams/players seem to usually prefer the discount applied in the FA years. Add a bit of signing bonus to give him some fun money for this year. The defense and speed suggest he can remain at SS at least through his 20s but a shift to 2B/3B around 30 might be needed. With fewer arb years and therefore probably substantially less arb money coming his way, Bichette should be a bit more motivated to sign than Vlad but I assume the collapse risk is lower with Bichette. Let's go with 12/$280 ... alternatively something like 6/$90 with a $30 M option with a $10 M buyout.

These and all other made-up numbers are brought to you by CohnReznick (not true).
   3. DCA Posted: January 17, 2022 at 06:34 PM (#6061403)
Bo's dad made $43 million in his career. Vlad's dad $126 million. These are two guys who really are not incentivized to take a smaller EV payment to lock in a higher minimum. Not to say that a buyout isn't possible, but it isn't going to come cheap.
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 17, 2022 at 09:16 PM (#6061416)
he’d very conservatively platform to $12 million,
They’re trying to make ‘platform’ a verb now?
   5. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: January 18, 2022 at 08:20 AM (#6061443)
Just because the Blue Jays want to sign these guys long term doesn't mean these guys are willing to take a discount to sign long term.

With that said Guerrero scares me just a bit. Chubby guys on long term deals feels like a dicey proposition. Admittedly I'm a Red Sox fan so I've got PTSD (Pablo Traumatic Stress Disorder) but I can see Guerrero ballooning. To his credit he slimmed down considerably last year and is in much better shape but I'd be wary of him aging well. Of course if you hit like he does you have some room to decline and even if a deal buys out three years of FA he's still going to be 29.
   6. Paul d mobile Posted: January 18, 2022 at 09:35 AM (#6061451)
I would not assume that these guys, particularly Vlad, are all that close to their fathers (Sr has 8 children with 5 different women - I don't judge that, but it would be expensive).
   7. Rally Posted: January 18, 2022 at 11:55 AM (#6061471)
Bichette seems pretty close with his dad though. Dante even worked as an assistant hitting coach with the 2020 team.
   8. Adam Starblind Posted: January 18, 2022 at 12:06 PM (#6061475)
(Sr has 8 children with 5 different women - I don't judge that, but it would be expensive).


Like a boss.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: January 18, 2022 at 03:48 PM (#6061496)
Just because the Blue Jays want to sign these guys long term doesn't mean these guys are willing to take a discount to sign long term.

Depends what you mean by "discount." They're four years away from FA. I'm not talking "discount", I'm talking "sure, if the next 4 years go to plan then you can probably sign for $35 M a year ... but I'm offering to sign you for those years for $32 M a year right now, while taking on the risk you get hurt (or stop hitting)." That's not a "discount", that's "pricing risk." Some players (Ozzie Albies) are very risk averse and give the team a great deal; others would rather take their chances playing it out.

So for example, my Bichette long-term WAG is the arb years of Seager/Tatis (about $25-30 M) plus 8/$250-255. If anything, I'd guess that's high but then I think Seager is overpaid. My Vlad WAG is basically the same except, being a super-2, I've slotted him in at about $45-50 M for the arb years. The 6/$110 for Vlad is that same for the arb years plus two years at $30 M and obviously sets him up for life while still making him FA at a young age. From a strict financial standpoint -- and since it's not my life -- I'd probably advise Vlad against the 6/$110 deal since he's nearly guaranteed at least $40 over his arb years.
   10. John Northey Posted: January 18, 2022 at 05:11 PM (#6061505)
I recall reading somewhere that the union has been pushing Bichette especially to hold off until free agency. I think they feel he'd get $40 per over 10 years, or something insane like that. I suspect how this winter goes will tell Bichette a LOT about if he should hold off or not. Seager $325 and Semien $175 suggests holding off is a good idea, but on the flip side are Carlos Correa & Trevor Story - both unsigned so who knows what they'll get in the end. Those 4 will tell Bo what his range of potentials is, but will he see that as saying $32 mil a year is a good deal, or will he think he needs to get $40 per (free agency years) to be worth signing?
   11. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: January 18, 2022 at 07:50 PM (#6061514)
They’re trying to make ‘platform’ a verb now?

Seems like they're trying to make every noun into a verb, something I call "verbing". (In fact, since "verb" is a noun, "verbing" is a perfect example of itself!)
   12. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 18, 2022 at 08:03 PM (#6061520)
To get top dollar from the Blue Jays, who seemingly rely on an eugenics-based player development system, Guerrero & Bichette may also have to provide stud services to keep the prospect pipeline flowing. Win-win?
   13. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 18, 2022 at 09:53 PM (#6061525)
Seems like they're trying to make every noun into a verb, something I call "verbing". (In fact, since "verb" is a noun, "verbing" is a perfect example of itself!)
Whoah, you’re Calvin from 1993? Does Hobbes post here too?
   14. Ron J Posted: January 19, 2022 at 07:02 AM (#6061548)
Verbing weirds language.

   15. Darren Posted: January 19, 2022 at 04:53 PM (#6061615)
Vlad seems like almost a dead ringer for young Miggy. Can mash, struggles with weight, moves from 3rd to 1st. Given that, signing Vlad to 10 years, through age 32, seems like a decent gamble. I might wait one more year to see if he can maintain the gains he made last year.

I'd feel a little better about signing Bichette for a decade, since he's been more consistent, plays SS, and doesn't have the conditioning questions. Still, though, if you let him go another year, he still has three years until free agency.

I recall reading somewhere that the union has been pushing Bichette especially to hold off until free agency. I think they feel he'd get $40 per over 10 years, or something insane like that.


I'm surprised they'd particularly want him to wait. If he can get something like 10/$300M now, I'd be surprised if they fought him much on taking it.



   16. Darren Posted: January 19, 2022 at 04:57 PM (#6061616)
So I'll guess we see one of three outcomes: a) no deal; b) 6/$110; c) 12/$300.

Let's go with 12/$280 ... alternatively something like 6/$90 with a $30 M option with a $10 M buyout.



I suspect these guys will both be gunning for 'why not both?,' by having opt outs included. Maybe that means that it's only 6/80 and 11/250 for Vlad, and 6/80 and 11/230 for Bichette.

Do any of the most recent batch of big contracts include opt-outs?

   17. Jack Sommers Posted: January 23, 2022 at 11:30 AM (#6062097)
I was looking at comp lists (based on my own criteria) for Vlad Jr through age 21 and then through age 22. I was expecting to see a big difference. But among the 5 guys that popped out through age 21, 3 hall of famers + Machado. Note I'm looking at offense and not position or defense.

Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, In the Regular Season, from 1947 to 2021, age 21 or younger, Bats RH, At least 450 Plate Appearances, requiring Baserunning Runs >= -30 and Isolated Slugging % >= .145 and Plate Appearances <= 1350 and Adjusted OPS+ <= 115 and Adjusted OPS+ >= 103 and Isolated Slugging % <= .205, sorted by greatest Adjusted OPS+.

Rk                  Player OPS+   PA  ISO Rbaser From   To   Age   G   AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI  BB  SO GDP SB CS   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS    Pos
1                Ron Santo  113 1037 .182   
-0.4 1960 1961 20-21 249  925 128 251 56  8 32 127 104 121  34  2  6 .271 .343 .453 .796   *5/H
2              Willie Mays  113  716 .187    1.0 1948 1952 17
-21 168  634  82 167 26 10 24  97  77  77  13 11  5 .263 .347 .450 .796  *8/79
3    Vladimir Guerrero Jr
.  109  757 .173   -0.8 2019 2020 20-21 183  685  86 184 39  4 24 102  66 129  23  1  1 .269 .336 .442 .778  /5D3H
4           Cal Ripken Jr
.  107  695 .198    0.4 1981 1982 20-21 183  637  91 163 32  5 28  93  47 103  20  3  3 .256 .307 .454 .761  6/5HD
5             Bob Coluccio  105  503 .187   
-1.3 1973 1973 21-21 124  438  65  98 21  8 15  58  54  92   6 13  6 .224 .311 .411 .722 /978DH
6            Manny Machado  103 1266 .156   
-2.4 2012 2014 19-21 289 1185 150 330 73  6 33 129  58 219  34 10  7 .279 .313 .434 .747     *


Provided by Stathead.com: View Stathead Tool Used
Generated 1/23/2022.

Then through age 22 it looks like this with these pre sets. ( I just widened it a lot around Vlad's numbers to see who would pop out


Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, In the Regular Season, from 1947 to 2021, age 22 or younger, Bats RH, At least 1000 Plate Appearances, requiring Baserunning Runs >= -30 and Isolated Slugging % >= .190 and Plate Appearances <= 2000 and Adjusted OPS+ <= 148 and Adjusted OPS+ >= 127 and Isolated Slugging % <= .270, sorted by greatest Adjusted OPS+.


Rk                  Player OPS+   PA  ISO Rbaser From   To   Age   G   AB   R   H  2B 3B HR RBI  BB  SO GDP SB CS   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS     Pos
1    Vladimir Guerrero Jr
.  137 1455 .228   -2.9 2019 2021 20-22 344 1289 209 372  68  5 72 213 152 239  43  5  2 .289 .367 .517 .884   3/5DH
2            Carlos Correa  137 1573 .210    4.7 2015 2017 20
-22 361 1386 210 399  83  5 66 248 168 309  34 29  8 .288 .366 .498 .863   *6/HD
3              Henry Aaron  134 1834 .211    0.7 1954 1956 20
-22 428 1679 269 520  98 29 66 267 114 154  54  7  7 .310 .354 .521 .874   97/4H
4         Ronald Acuna Jr
.  133 1404 .257    5.8 2018 2020 20-22 313 1219 251 342  59  6 81 194 159 371  15 61 15 .281 .371 .538 .909  78/9HD
5           Miguel Cabrera  133 1716 .223   
-1.6 2003 2005 20-22 405 1530 246 459  95  6 78 290 157 357  52  6  4 .300 .366 .523 .889  79/5HD
6           Frank Robinson  132 1968 .235    8.6 1956 1958 20
-22 450 1737 309 512  81 17 98 241 170 267  40 28  7 .295 .369 .530 .899 *7/835H
7           Orlando Cepeda  131 1907 .202    0.9 1958 1960 20
-22 450 1777 261 549 109 11 76 297  96 275  39 53 26 .309 .347 .511 .858  *37/H5
8               Bob Horner  129 1369 .255   
-1.5 1978 1980 20-22 334 1273 197 363  46  3 91 250  73 166  32  3  3 .285 .323 .541 .864   *5/3H 


Provided by Stathead.com: View Stathead Tool Used
Generated 1/23/2022.

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